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From theory to practice: Realising the potential of Social Value

Social Value in the public sector

Since January 2021, the Social Value Model has been transforming how value is delivered through public sector contracts. All central Government tenders are mandated to consider the social value commitments made by bidders, centred around strategic themes and related policy outcomes which reflect agreed cross-government priorities.

For many commercial and procurement professionals this was a new opportunity and challenge to their role, so two years on how is the Social Value Model being put into practice?

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What is the Social Value report?

We interviewed 20 senior commercial and procurement professionals leading for their organisations on the social value agenda across Central and Local Government to explore:
How social value is translating from theory to practice – from pre-procurement, through procurement, contract management and impact capture? What can be learnt about how to embed social value from our collective experience to date? How key stakeholders can work collaboratively in future to accelerate the delivery of social value priorities and maximise impact?

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Findings from the report

What we heard from senior leaders was that despite being in the early stages of adoption of the Model, consistency and good practice is starting to develop. Positive themes included:

• There is a high degree of buy in to Social Value as a concept

• Government commissioners are starting to feel empowered about their own strategic priorities

• Different organisations are at different stages in their adoption of the Model – and therefore their maturity in its application. This means there are great opportunities to learn from each other’s experience to date.

Read more findings here

In the report we set out 8 critical characteristics necessary for successful adoption of the Model in practice. These can help organisations to identify opportunity areas to accelerate their learning and maximise the impact of the Model. We also set out a series of suggested next step recommendations for key stakeholders drawn from the interviews.

You can download the short report here. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with one of our team below.

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